The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Traffic headaches around City College

Illustration by Geraldine Centinaje.
Illustration by Geraldine Centinaje.

Some of City College’s students may have needed to find a new route to school because of the Fix 50 project, which began April 22 and will last through June 25, consisting of construction on eastbound Highway 50 followed by construction on the westbound lanes.

“We notified faculty about the construction and made a special note to them to please be understanding as much as possible of students that are coming in from various areas in the Greater Sacramento area and to be aware that tardiness is a possibility due to this,” said Amanda Davis, City College’s Public Information Officer. “We’ve encouraged them to be understanding as appropriate.”

According to Fix50. com, the stretch of highway, known as the W/X Viaduct, is undergoing four phases of construction—two phases for each direction. Drivers can expect scheduled lane closures, freeway connector detours and ramp closures through late June.

Public Information Officer for Cal Trans Dennis Keaton provided detailed information on the W/X Viaduct project at a public information meeting April 9 at the Secretary of State building in downtown

“The eastbound side has two phases [lasting] through May 21,” Keaton said. “The westbound side has two phases as well, beginning May 27 through June 25. At least three lanes on the construction side will be open at all times. Traffic in the opposite direction of construction will be fully open as normal with no impact, but we still expect major delays.”

According to Keaton, the scheduling and timing of the construction took into consideration the impact on major local events. There is a scheduled break in construction beginning May 22 through May 26. Keaton said the construction gap was specifically scheduled around Memorial Day weekend to accommodate additional travelers on the highway.

Trying not to impact major local events was not the only consideration in determining when the project should begin. According to Keaton, the condition of the highway was a major factor in the scheduling of the project.

“Heavy use and age has caused extensive deck cracking and deteriorated joint seals. Other issues include non-standard shoulder fit and a seismic retrofit that is needed,” said Keaton.

He provided a photograph of a core sample taken from the surface of the structure, and explained that it showed, “in fact, [that] the deck is cracked all the way through. And that is the main purpose for the project to be done.”

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“During the construction project, those [light rail] lines will not be interfered with,” Keaton said. “They’ll have a straight shot into the greater downtown area, and if you can accommodate, that would probably be your best bet.”

Davis also suggested using alternate routes or methods of transportation.

“RT is an option,” said Davis. “We also will make sure to have a bicycle-friendly campus, so we have lots of bike racks, lots of easy access points to the campus by walking or by bicycle.”

Drivers shouldn’t assume that rain means a break in construction. According to Keaton, work was still underway during the rainfall April 25.

“Workers were able to put down quite a bit of steel—the rebar on the very top, which they would have had to do anyways,” said Keaton. “That work was able to continue and is actually still ongoing even [when it rains.]”

According to Keaton, the City of Sacramento is modifying their traffic signals and adding traffic officers. The intent of additional traffic officers is not to cite motorists for violations, but to support the flow of traffic on the city’s surface streets.

“We were told by the City of Sacramento that what they had planned [was] to put the majority of their affected traffic signals on automation versus sensors,” said Keaton. “They also have the backing of about 16 additional traffic police officers as well, and some additional parking officers to monitor the situation.

“[If a traffic backup occurs, the officer] will call into the [command] center to let them know about problem areas to adjust the signals or to put that signal on a blinking red for the officer to go into the middle to start directing traffic to alleviate some of the backup,” Keaton said.

He added that drivers should visit for the most up-to-date information on the construction project and follow the project’s social media updates on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

For current project information, click the Fix 50 widget located in the sidebar of

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